Grand Village to host student days

Published 12:03 am Monday, October 20, 2014

Grand Village of the Natchez Indians will host the 27th annual student days Wednesday and Thursday. Volunteers will be on the grounds from 8:30 a.m. until noon both days. Student days help students of all ages to learn about Native American Culture as well as French Colonial Culture. Everyone is invited and admission is free.

On Wednesday and Thursday, volunteers stationed around the grounds will demonstrate different aspects of the cultures from long ago. Tom Varnado will demonstrate Native American housing, hunting, trapping and games. Wilkie Collins will demonstrate flint knapping. Kay McNeil from Historic Jefferson College will demonstrate basket-weaving styles she learned from the Louisiana Choctaw. Pat Martin shall demonstrate Native American Pottery techniques. Clark Burkett will demonstrate French Colonial life style. Jim Barnett will discuss extinct mammals that once lived here. This year we have two different storytellers, Susan Bonnette and Marianne Raley. We also have two new volunteers. Professor David Higgs from Copiah-Lincoln Community College will join us on Thursday, and I believe he will demonstrate the Native American game stickball. My other special guest will demonstrate Native American beading techniques, and she will have some of her items for sale.

So far, we have seven schools who have decided to join us this year: Amite School Center, Brookhaven Academy, Cathedral, Enterprise Attendance Center, Morgantown Middle, Tensas Academy and Vicksburg Warren. Thank you to all of the schools, teachers, and parents and volunteers who help make these field trips possible. By your actions, you instill a love of history and travel in your children. If you do not believe me, ask any local person between the ages of 20 and 50 where they went on their school trips and most will only recall the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians.

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We are extremely proud of our volunteers, and we could not sponsor this program without their support of time, energy, and knowledge. They are willing to take time from their schedules to help us teach as many children as we can by showing them how indigenous people and colonists survived 300 years ago. It is one thing for a student to read about a culture or a moment in history. It is another thing entirely to see it come to life. Our volunteers bring history to life and you really do not want to miss it.

So come on out and see us Wednesday and Thursday and bring your children or just your thirst for knowledge. We will be happy to teach you all that we know. If you have any questions, please contact us at 601-446-6502 or


Rebecca Martin Anderson is an historian at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians.